Frequently Asked Questions - Jail


Below you will find our most commonly asked questions regarding the Dakota County Jail. Please take a moment and see if your questions are answered here. If you still need further assistance please call the jail at (651) 438-4800.


How do I send mail to an inmate?

To send mail to inmates, please use the following address:


(Inmate Name)
Dakota County Law Enforcement Center
P.O. Box 247J
Hastings, MN 55033


What can I send?

Letters, Photos, Greeting Cards


What is NOT allowed


Any items under this section will be "returned to sender" or placed in the inmnates property


  • Perfume-scented and/or lipstick kisses/marks on mail
  • Any inappropriate photos (sexual or gang-related)
  • Cards that have a musical insert, that are decorated, or that have glue, glitter or stickers.
  • Postage stamps, envelopes, and blank paper must be purchased in the facility and are NOT allowed to be sent in
  • Printed materials such as newspapers, books, or magazines
  • Any letters with stickers, glue and/or glitter
  • Inmate's personal bills and mail received at their home may not be forwarded, sent in, or dropped off
  • Cash, personal checks, and payroll checks should not be mailed to the inmates
  • Business cards or brochures of any kind
How do I get money to an inmate?

MAIL: Money orders made out to the inmate can be mailed. The jail will NOT be responsible for cash mailed to inmates.

   (Inmate Name)
   Dakota County Law Enforcement Center
   P.O. Box 247J
   Hastings, MN 55033

ONLINE: Credit card deposit to an inmate's account. Please follow the instructions at www.inmatecanteen.com. For issues regarding inmate accounts, contact TurnKey Corrections directly at (715) 386-5700.

IN PERSON: 1580 Highway 55, Hastings, MN 55033. There is a kiosk that you can deposit cash or credit cards and it will automatically credit the inmate's account. The jail lobby is open 24hrs per day.

What items may an inmate have while in custody?

NO ITEMS MAY BE DROPPED OFF FOR INMATES, except prescription medications, eyeglasses or other necessary medical equipment (must be approved by the medical unit staff).

Books, hygiene items, writing materials, uniforms and shoes are provided to inmates while in custody. Inmates may purchase postage paid envelopes, snacks, soft drinks and other necessities through canteen with their own funds.

You may drop off prescription medication in a clean, appropriately marked prescription container. The information on the containers will be used to help verify the inmate's doctor, pharmacy and dosage amounts.

Inmates may possess no more than 10 photographs (no polaroid photos). The photographic images must be appropriate in nature. Please use the United States Postal Service to mail all photos and letters. We will NOT accept notes, letters, cards or photos unless they arrive through the post office.

How do I post bail? What if I can't pay my jail fees?

In most cases, an inmate may post either cash bail or a bond. Cash bail is accepted for Dakota County charges at the Criminal Courts window (at 1560 Highway 55, Hastings, MN 55033) Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm with the exceptions of holidays. For Dakota County charges, bail (cash only-in the exact amount) will be accepted at the jail lobby after 4:30 pm and on weekends and holidays.

Bail for out of county warrants will only be accepted at the jail if the subject of the warrant is in custody in the Dakota County Jail.

In lieu of cash bail, an inmate may choose to go through a bonding agent. Refer to the Yellow Pages and choose a bonding agent of your choice. The bonding agent will help you through the process.


Booking Fee Refund


Fee Waiver Form

What time of day do inmates get released?

The majority of inmates are released from the Dakota County Jail at approximately 5:00 am unless court orders specify a time.

Inmates who are serving a sentence to Dakota County, but are boarded out to other facilities, are released per those agencies procedures.

It is best to stay in contact with the inmate toward the end of their sentence to determine the scheduled time of release given their specific situation.

What about an inmates property?

If an inmate has left the Dakota County Jail and was either required to leave behind their personal belongings or did not get back all their property upon release, the inmate must pick up the property themselves or designate someone else to pick up the property within 90 days of their release date. This designee must bring the signed property release form and personal identification when picking up property.

If property was confiscated at the time of arrest, you will have to contact the police department that arrested the inmate.

If a vehicle was impounded or towed, you will have to contact the arresting agency and/or impound lot to determine what is needed to retrieve the vehicle.

Can I get a message to an inmate?

The jail cannot pass messages of phone calls to inmates. In most cases inmates have generous access to the phones. You will have to wait for the inmate to call you.

If you need to get in touch with an inmate you can video visit an inmate from home or you can set up an account here and send an inmate an e-mail message for a small fee.

What is the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) is a federal law that prohibits and seeks to eliminate sexual assaults and sexual misconduct in correctional institutions and community corrections settings. The Dakota County Jail is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for staff and inmates. Sexual activity of any kind is not allowed in the Dakota County Jail.


The Dakota County Jail has zero tolerance for sexual assault, abuse, or sexual activity of any kind between inmates, inmates and county staff, or inmates and vendors working for the county.

  • Inmates who have consensual sexual contact with another inmate will be disciplined.
  • Inmates who have non-consensual sexual contact with another inmate, county staff, contract staff, volunteers, or vendors working for the county will be disciplined and referred for criminal prosecution.
  • County Staff, contract staff, volunteers, and vendors who are found to have engaged in sexual contact or sexual misconduct with inmates will be disciplined and referred for criminal prosecution.

Inmates may report in person, through written inmate communication, through grievance system, via the electronic kiosks located in the housing units or to outside national, state, or local victim advocacy or crisis organizations using the toll-free numbers provided.


Dakota County staff will investigate or refer for investigation allegations of sexual abuse from county staff, contract staff, volunteers, vendors, or other inmates even if the reported abuse did not occur at our facility.


If you know of a situation of sexual assault or abuse within our facility, you can report it by submitting a tip via this web site (Contact Us - send a tip) or leave a message for one of our PREA staff by calling 651-438-4800. Third party reporters may include other inmates, members of staff, family members, lawyers, contract employees, service providers, or community or religious volunteers. Third party reporters may leave information without disclosing his or her name or the name of the alleged victim or abuser. In order to effectively investigate allegations we will require information such as the date, time and location of the incident, and the names or descriptions of any parties involved in the incident. While this information is helpful it is not required to submit a report.


Remember, we cannot conduct an investigation if the information is not reported to us or if we don't have enough information.


The Dakota County Jail has zero tolerance for all forms of retaliation against any person because of his/her involvement in the reporting or investigation of a PREA claim.

What if my loved one is deaf or hard of hearing?

Dakota County Jail is dedicated to providing equal access to all inmates pursuant to 28 C.F.R 35.104 to include access to qualified interpreters, note takers, written materials, telephones compatible with hearing aides, closed caption televisions, TTY, text only cell phones, Video Relay phones, and on demand interpreting. Inmates or their family members may inform jail staff of any auxiliary aides requested at any time during their incarceration.


The Dakota County Jail ensures that deaf and hard-of-hearing persons have full and equal enjoyment of its services, privileges, facilities, advantages and accommodations, and provides auxiliary aids and services to facilitate effective communication with and by these persons. Sign language and oral interpreters, videophones, a TTY, and other services are available to deaf and hard-of-hearing inmates free-of-charge. For more information, please contact the Jail’s Coordinator of Accessible Communication Services at (651) 438-4834.




Last Reviewed: 4/29/2017
Last Updated: 4/29/2017

Quick Links


Dakota County Sheriff's Office

1580 Highway 55
Hastings, MN 55033

Emergency/Non-Emergency: 911